E-commerce enabler Great Deals closes US$30M Series B to build automated fulfilment centre in Philippines

Great Deals founder Steve Sy (L) and Fast Group’s William Chiongbian

Philippine e-commerce enabler, Great Deals E-Commerce Corporation, has raised US$30 million in Series B funding round, led by local logistics major Fast Group.

The round was joined by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, besides existing investor Navegar.

This round comes almost a year and half after Great Deals secured US$12 million Series A from Navegar in January 2020.

Great Deals will deploy the fresh capital in tech development and the construction of an automated “state-of-the-art fulfilment centre”.

“We recognise that Philippine logistics is by far the toughest across the ASEAN region and remains to impede our e-commerce penetration outside GMA.

With this funding and strategic support from our new investors, this opens new opportunities to drive forward instant commerce, delivery under one hour, wherever you are. We can reach and serve more Filipinos faster and safer. That is the next big thing that can boost further the digital economy in our country,” said Steve Sy, founder and CEO of Great Deals.

Also Read: Great Deals raises US$12M from Navegar to be the Alibaba of Philippines

William Chiongbian II, Group President and CEO of Fast Group, said: “The Fast Group sees a lot of synergies with Great Deals in building capability. We are privileged to contribute to the growth of Philippine e-commerce, as it relies heavily on a strong supply chain backbone.”

“We envision strategic collaborations between Great Deal’s high-growth e-commerce solutions and Fast’s leading position in Philippine logistics. This partnership also marks Fast’s first M&A transaction since CVC’s investment less than six months ago,” said Brice Cu, Managing Director and Head of the Philippines at CVC Capital Partners.

Sy founded Great Deals in 2014 after spending many years as an entrepreneur in the retail and e-commerce sectors. He identified a glaring need to enable entrepreneurs like himself to succeed in the internet economy.

Great Deals offers end-to-end business solutions ranging from digital marketing, content creation, storefront management, web design, business analytics and customer service to warehousing and peak-scaling fulfilment.

The firm caters to both local and multinational brands, including Abbott, L’Oreal, Unilever, Nestle, Samsonite, GSK, Bayer, and Fila.

In 2020, Great Deals claims to have posted four-fold growth in 2020.

According to International Trade Administration, COVID-19 has increased demand for e-commerce in the Philippines. While the younger population was already open to online shopping, the need for social distancing has pushed the cash centric and face to face shopping culture towards a more digital one, and this is expected to continue.

What is lacking is proper digital and logistics infrastructure to truly enable a digital economy. There needs to be higher bandwidth capacity to service the retail market.

Plus, Filipinos are prolific users of social media. Estimates in 2020 showed that there were 76 million active social media users in the country. Of this, 75 million are on Facebook, 12 million on Twitter, and 4 million on LinkedIn.

Image Credit: Great Deals

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